Victorian State Government extends financing of JJIPO@Monash for an additional two years

Extension will further boost Victorian hub for researchers and early-stage companies to connect with industry experts and deliver novel healthcare solutions

MELBOURNE, Australia, July 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Johnson & Johnson Innovation announced today the extension of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Partnering Office at Monash University’s Clayton Campus in Melbourne (JJIPO@Monash) in collaboration with the Victorian State Government.

This joint initiative between Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the Victorian Government and Monash University will be extended for approximately two years through June 30, 2023. The agreement will allow JJIPO@Monash to continue connecting with the Victorian innovation ecosystem, nurturing and accelerating innovative research, new product development and commercialisation for a global market, as well as boost local job creation in Victoria.

“Our collaboration with Monash University represents Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s ongoing commitment to foster diverse healthcare ecosystems across Australia. This extension will further help connect life-science innovators in Victoria to accelerate their healthcare solutions across the globe,” said Stacy Feld, Regional Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC, West North America, Australia & New Zealand.

Since 2012, Johnson & Johnson Innovation has played an active role in establishing connections with key stakeholders in the Australia life-science ecosystem, including academia, government and venture capitalists, to enable public-private collaboration and support early-stage entrepreneurs and academic researchers. JJIPO@Monash was originally launched in 2018 to provide crucial support to researchers and companies in the Victorian life-science sector as part of the Government’s commitment to the medical technologies and pharmaceuticals sector – one of eight priority growth sectors. The public-private partnership between Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Monash University and the Victorian Government is one of only three such offices located across the world.

Victoria has one of the world’s largest life science clusters composed of medical technologies (medtech), biotechnologies and pharmaceutical industries. It’s home to a vibrant commercial sector, key R&D infrastructure and advanced manufacturing expertise making it a highly sought-after destination by global healthcare companies,” said Jaala Pulford, Minister for Innovation, Parliament of Victoria. “This is why we are delighted to extend our joint agreement with Johnson & Johnson Innovation to maintain the partnering office at Monash.”

“This contract extension demonstrates the valuable work that is taking place at JJIPO@Monash,” said Kathy Connell, Senior Director, Early Innovation Partnering, Australia & New Zealand, Janssen-Cilag Pty Ltd. “Several high impact Victorian healthcare collaborations have been signed since our launch, including those novel medical technologies and treatments for neurodegenerative and autoimmune conditions, and solutions for significant unmet needs in global public health including maternal mortality and infectious diseases.”

Since its inception in 2018, JJIPO@Monash has provided a platform for major life-science collaboration in Victoria to strengthen the healthcare ecosystem and enable future impact, including:

  • St. Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research (SVI)’s multi-year research collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to develop and potentially commercialise small molecule modulators of microglial function and inflammation for Alzheimer’s disease treatment
  • Monash University to support the development of an inhaled form of oxytocin as a life-saving therapy to prevent and manage postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medial Research (WEHI)’s collaborative research team to further develop potential antimalarial drugs from chemical compounds in the Janssen Jump-stARter Molecular Library (a collection of 80,000+ drug-like compounds designed to fast track the discovery of new medicines) – both collaborations with Janssen Pharmaceutical NV, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
  • Monash University’s multi-year research collaboration with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to advance the understanding of the immune mechanisms underpinning Coeliac Disease and inform the development of new methods of diagnosis and treatment
  • QuickFire Challenge competition, jointly sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC and the Victorian State Government, provided an opportunity to showcase and promote Victoria’s medical device innovation ecosystem resulting in three awardees who have secured a total combined aggregate of over $15.6M in follow on investment since 2018
  • MedTech Actuator’s partnership with Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC to bring mentorship opportunities and generate local investment for health technology startups in Victoria and development and delivery of the Johnson & Johnson-Monash Postgraduate Diversity and Inclusion internship programs for 2019 and 2020
  • 15 international executive visits from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies and nearly 40 global leaders have provided mentorship to Victorian entrepreneurs, investors, academics, government and engaged with more than 1,700 active stakeholders across JJIPO@Monash’s global network; hosted approximately 30 educational training and networking events and numerous international tours to connect Victorian innovators to the global Johnson & Johnson Innovation network, including Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centers, JLABS (in Shanghai and Washington, DC), Janssen Research & Development, LLC (US), Janssen Pharmaceutical NV (Belgium), Johnson & Johnson Global Public Health, Johnson & Johnson Medical Pty Ltd. (including the orthopaedic business Depuy Synthes) and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. (US)
  • During the pandemic in 2020 alone, JJIPO@Monash hosted eight key virtual events with internationally based Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies leaders engaging over 650 stakeholders covering key strategic areas including Women in STEM2D, Neuroscience, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, World Without Disease Accelerator, Drug Delivery, Digital Solutions, Janssen Jump-stARter Molecular Library, Surgical Vision Care and the Johnson & Johnson-BARDA Blue Knight alliance program

Monash University Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Senior Vice-President (Enterprise & Governance), Professor Ken Sloan, said the contract extension will further raise Victoria’s reputation as a global innovation hot spot.

“This partnership is helping to bridge the gap between academic research and industry application by driving cross-industry conversations, leading to project innovations and investment. I am excited to see what we will achieve in this new phase,” said Professor Sloan.

JJIPO@Monash provides mentoring, training and networking with emerging healthcare companies and academic researchers at no financial cost to life science stakeholders across Victoria to help nurture the next generation of innovators. Commercialisation training, mentoring and networking support is provided to accelerate translational life science research along the path to commercialisation and to connect Victorian innovators with stakeholders from Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s vast global networks. These activities are part of Johnson & Johnson Innovation’s ongoing commitment to strengthen Victoria’s healthcare innovation ecosystem and to accelerating the opportunity for locally developed technologies to receive investment dollars, to reach patients faster, and to realize a fair return on investment.

The Victorian Government’s renewed financial support will continue to strengthen the partnership. The program of activities offered through JJIPO@Monash will ensure Johnson & Johnson Innovation has an ongoing and active presence in Victoria and will continue to build a commercially viable bio-medtech innovation network, create sector employment and ultimately deliver Victorian-originated healthcare solutions to people in Australia and around the world.